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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    London, England
    Oh, darling. I agree with what the others have said, there are some wise women here. I don't have any experience with abusive relationships, but a friend of mine was in one and I saw what it did to her. So lots of hugs to you.

    I got accidentally pregnant about a year ago (my daughter was born in March) and the thought of my body changing scared me. Not the pregnancy so much as I've always found pregnant women beautiful, but what it would look like after. I've always been thin and people have always told me how beautiful I am, so my self worth has forever been tied to my looks and my body, even though I have other good qualities, but they didn't seem as important to me as no one ever seemed to notice. It's not a view that's easy to shift. When I was raped in my late teens it sent me deeper into this bad downward spiral, where I battled with very conflicting sides of me. And I knew I never wanted to have a biological child because I didn't want to pass on my massive, destructive faults to a child. I think it's easier said than done to get over your past. And being together with someone good, whole, giving and in general wonderful can both be a good and a bad thing. My husband is endlessly good, patient, caring, before we got together (we had a two year courting) he found a therapist he could talk to about me (the rape and I'm bipolar too) so he would understand better and be prepared. Who does that? Sometimes I feel like I'm this virus digging away at my family, a black destructive force amidst all the fluffy pinkness. Do you think something like that can be going on with you? Do you maybe feel like you don't deserve him?

    Liking other peoples children has got nothing to do with whether you'll be a good mum or not. I know tons of people who hates children, but adore their own. Your concern about your own maternal instincts tells me that you're aware of it, and that probably means you're a very caring person. As for the body things, yes, your body will change. It happens. It's difficult whatever other people says, yes, I think how a mother's body looks after pregnancy is powerful, it shows her battle wounds and what she went through to make this child. But that doesn't mean I wanted that for myself. The idea of stretchmarks and the thought of never being able to wear a two piece again terrified me. The thought that my husband wouldn't find me attractive anymore because my body wouldn't be perfect. I think it's easy for people who haven't got these issues to say get over it, but when it's been something that (in my case) you've valued since you were a little girl, it's not easy to get over it.

    It also makes a lot of sense, what you said about this being the first time in your life you're actually at a place where you're good, and could bring a child into the world. I think that's true for a lot of people, they push the idea away for years because they don't have a house, or are still studying, in a bad job and so on, and when all the sudden their lives are calm and good, the baby thing becomes real. But babies and children are a lot of work, they're demanding and selfish and they're totally dependent on you. Everything changes, and that's a good and sometimes a bad thing. But you don't need to have a baby to be happy. Babies changes your relationship, I know childless women who are very happy and lead amazing, fulfilled lives. Just because there won't be children doesn't mean there won't be love.

    I would advise you to see someone professional about this though, it's helped me a lot even though I've still got issues. And I like what Sessha said about treating yourself like you would your loved ones.
    My darling Marian Illyria Aphrodite, March 2013 & Little Bunny (a girl!) due 9th of February 2014

  2. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I just celebrate my 21st birthday last week so I also not the best person to answer this. Just want to say I support you, I have similar insecurities with body image. Ah.. I've heard my dad said the same things to my mom, I'm afraid it'll be me in years ahead.

    Ditto everything Rowan's mom said. Will you regret it when your biological clock has ended and you have no child? Don't let body image issue bother you too much. My advice, go volunteer for children program for a week or more. Spent more time with pregnant women, in a group sharing maybe. Decide if you want kids or not (it's also okay if you don't want them) and talk about it with your husband.
    twenty-something name nerd. infj

    Seraphina Juliette Audrey. Evangeline Laetitia Odette. Catalina Ariadne Helen. Valentina Bellatrix Yvaine
    Violetta Catherine Lenore. Isabelle Faustina Clare. Rosalind Anna Belphoebe. Guinevere Cassia Ottilie
    Vanessa Rose Aphrodite. Helena Edelweiss. Talitha Caroline. Aurelia Madelief

    Peregrine Lysander James. Gavriel Alexander Callum. James Luca Auberon. Edmund Frederic Altair
    Perseus Arthur Flynn. Cassius Jason Alaric. Damien Alexei Orion

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Pomona MO
    There are two things I will address here.

    I am quite fat! Same issues growing up. My father hated anyone fat and he was abusive. I think my being fat is a direct way of "sticking my tongue out" at my Fathers attitude. So the body image thing goes both ways. I am 52 and the issues are not resolved.

    My second issue is temper. It runs in the family bad. I was beat as a child (mostly as a result of alcohol) I made a vow never to treat my children the way I was. and I did. Love my children and did not beat any of them! My temper did rile things up a bit but I never crossed that line and though it was not easy, I did it.

    Hormones go a long way towards helping you love your babies even if you are not a child loving person. (The same way they are able to help us change diapers)

    You can DO what you make up your mind to DO. I have never lost weight because I am "comfortable" here for whatever reason. (sticking the tongue out?) I was a gentle caring mom (never perfect) because I made my mind up to do so!
    Mom to:
    Autumn Elizabeth
    Patrick Alexander
    Nicholas Ivan

    Nana to
    Jaime Mae Michelle
    Nicholas Ivan II
    Rylie Meshele

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Best of luck to you if you do decide to try to conceive! At 37 it might not be something that happens right away, you might struggle with trying to conceive and then that will be your new worry... I have always wanted children and now it might not happen for me. We are the same age. I have had 3 miscarriages since we started to try when I was 33.

    I really hope that it doesn't take long for you so you know the joys of pregnancy and motherhood. When your focus is on your child, I am sure all the doubts you have now will melt away.

    It sounds like you thought you would be okay without them, but I don't think you will be now that you are on here asking for help. You are in a good place to start trying now. That's great! Seeing a therapist might be a good idea. I have in the past and she was very helpful.

    About the weight thing...I am slightly overweight now and it may be difficult for me to be gaining weight during pregnancy. I worry that I won't be able to lose the weight after. I used to be a size 2 when I was in my 20s. The body image thing works both ways.
    I am sure you will be able to bounce back though. You shouldn't worry about that. You will love being pregnant. So what if you are never a size 2 again? So you will be a size 4. Lucky you.

    I have heard that breastfeeding can melt all the pounds away...

    Maybe it will help to think about how wonderful a father your husband will be. He will help you through it all. It will be a wonderful gift to the both of you.

    There is nothing wrong with not having children too! I am not pushing for you to try to conceive now.

    Good luck moosey!

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    There are certainly some kind of maternal instincts that some people have and some people don't...but that's not a marker of whether you'll be a good mum or not. Some people immediately bond with their babies and know what to do, and some people need to take time to get used to motherhood and spend time learning how to care for their children.

    Also, how you feel about other people's children isn't always indicative of how you'll feel about your own.

    I think you should seek out a counselor or therapist to help with two things: first to help with your self esteem, and secondly to talk about your fears surrounding raising children, and see if they're something you can overcome. It sounds to me that you'd like to have children and be a good mum, but aren't confident about your ability to do so.

    The fact that you're taking into consideration all of these issues are a good sign.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

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